Lemongrass and Coconut Tempeh, Coleslaw in Peanut Dressing, and Coconut Brown Rice

DSC_1884

I have three new recipes for you today! Jackpot!

When I first saw a block of tempeh sitting next to tofu at an Asian grocer, I was put off by the way it looked. I vaguely see that there were some soybeans in the block, but the whole thing looked slightly rotten to me. (click here if you don’t know what tempeh looks like). I’ve never given a second thought about buying it until I started reading 101cookbooks.com. This wonderful blog was the first food blog that I started reading regularly and still do until this day. Tempeh showed up once in a while in her post and after a casual googling, I realized this block of off-looking soybeans was in fact a delicious food originating from Indonesia, and has spread to the western world as a healthy meat substitute. It’s fermented and therefore easier for your body to digest. It’s also full of vitamin B-6, iron, magnesium, and calcium. So after trying this recipe  from 101cookbooks, I was hooked. It’s meatier than tofu, and really delicious after being marinated and grilled. I know many people frown upon hearing the word “tofu” but this distant cousin, tempeh, my friends, is a whole different business.

After vaguely trying to plan a holiday to south-east Asia, I have created a marinade for tempeh that includes ingredients from there, and the result was absolutely delicious. Lightly coconut-y, spicy, and the addition of lemongrass and lime leaf made me want to teleport myself to the street food stalls in south-east Asia, although I imagine the food there would be a zillion times better than mine. 🙂 I paired the tempeh with coleslaw with peanut dressing that was inspired by the Gado-gado sauce from Indonesia, and coconut brown rice cooked with galangal and lime leaf. If you have never cooked with tempeh, give this a try. I swear you will be hooked like I did.

 

Lemongrass and Coconut Tempeh

Serves 2

250g tempeh, cut into triangles

1 lemongrass, 5cm from the root, the outer layer peeled, and the soft center part finely minced

1 lime leaf, finely minced

60ml coconut milk from a very well shaken can

1.5 tsp sambal olek or sriracha

1 Tbsp soy sauce

Juice of 1/2 lime

To fry, coconut oil or vegetable oil with high-smoking point.

To serve, a small handful coriander leaves

1. In a medium sized saucepan, bring water to boil. Add the tempeh and steam over medium heat for about 5 mins. This process eliminates the bitterness that might be present in some tempeh, and also it will make the tempeh absorb the marinade faster.

2. In a blender, add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Drain the tempeh and transfer them to a large but shallow casserole dish. Pour the marinade over and coat well. Marinate for 1 hour. It can sit in the fridge for a couple more hours if you want to make ahead of time. Flip once or twice.

3. Heat the coconut oil or vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Lay the tempeh slices in one layer and fry for about 4 mins. Flip and wait for 3 minutes. Pour the remaining marinade and reduce to a thick sauce.

DSC_1877

Coleslaw with peanut-chili-coconut dressing

Serves 4-6 as a side

1/2 head small green cabbage, finely sliced

1/2 head small purple cabbage, finely sliced

3 spring onions, white and green parts, finely sliced

1 large carrot, julienned

1/2 large kohlrabi, julienned

1 bunch coriander, chopped

A small handful mint leaves, chopped

A handful roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

For the dressing,

2 Tbsp peanut butter

1.5 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbs coconut milk

1 thumbnail sized ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

2 small cloves garlic

1.5 tsp sambal olek or sriracha

1 lime, juice only

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp palm sugar or raw cane sugar

1. In a large bowl, mix the chopped and sliced vegetables.

2. To make the dressing, add all the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Check the seasoning. The dressing at this stage should be a little salty. Not to worry, the vegetables will absorb some of the salt.

3. Toss the dressing and the vegetables thoroughly, preferably with hands.  Leave to rest for 30mins to 1 hour. Scatter the peanuts on the salad before serving.

Coconut Brown Rice with Lime Leaf and Galangal

Serves 2

1 cup short-grain brown rice

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup water

2 lime leaves

A thumb-nail sized galangal or ginger, sliced

1/2 tsp salt

To serve: Lime wedges

1. Wash the brown rice and soak, if possible, for 4-8 hours.

2. In a medium sized sauce pan, bring the rice and the rest of the ingredients to the boil and turn the heat down to low. Steam the rice for 35-45 mins, until tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff the rice with fork.

 

 

Mango and Raspberry Clafoutis with Coconut

DSC_1798

I own many, many cookbooks. I love most of them and have fond memories cooking from the books, not only because the recipes are great but also they remind me of a particular time and space that I was in when I bought them or received them as gifts. The one and only cookbook I brought with me from Australia to Germany was Marie Claire Supper Cookbook by Jody Vassallo. It’s a tiny book with 36 easy and simple but very stylish recipes for suppers during the week. It was given to me by my friend Angelique as a graduation present. I cooked many meals from it in the beginning, although I have to say some ingredients were hard to come by in Germany 10 years ago. Australia is always a step or two ahead in the culinary world, mainly because of their incredible produce and the melting pot of immigrants in the country. And even though I ate my fare shares of cadbury chocolate frogs, frozen meat pies, (oops did I just say that?), greasy lemon chicken and etc, now I think back and I remember most people being genuinely interested in food. When I read these cookbooks from the 90s to early 2000, the recipes in those books I have photographed below, are still in sync with what we would see in food magazines and blogs today. I also own two Vogue Australia Entertaining cookbooks from 10-15 years ago and they are also just gorgeous; full of beautiful photographs and simple yet elegant multi-cultural and fusion recipes. I saw on buzzfeed a month ago, that the food Aussies miss the most is Asian food when they go overseas. I also miss going to the Adelaide Central Market and slurping on a big steaming bowl of spicy Laksa or a comforting bowl of Bibimbap from Sunmi’s. Mmmm…

DSC_1813

DSC_1816

I guess I have come a long way. I live on more than fried eggs and instant noodles nowadays, Ange! Thanks!! 🙂

Anyways, enough of nostalgia for today. I have baked a dessert! It was slightly adapted from Table Australia. I just looked up but apparently this magazine hasn’t been printed for many years now. Clafoutis is a very classic french dessert that according to some articles, every housewife can whip up without a recipe. (correct me if I’m wrong!) This version is very unfrench, so I’m not sure if I should call it a “clafoutis” and thereby offend some die-hard french food connoisseurs, but the basic idea here is the same. You have some fruit, whip up a egg-y batter, bake, and eat warm. The addition of coconut milk, raspberries, mango, and lime gives this classic dessert a ring of change. I reduced the amount of sugar from the original recipe, swapped mango instead of pear, added some spice, lime, and desiccated coconut. I don’t know about you, but it reminded me a bit of warm Aussie sunshine. Enjoy! xo-A.

 

DSC_1814

 

DSC_1801

 

Mango and Raspberry Clafoutis with Coconut

Slightly adapted from Table Australia Cakes, Biscuits and Puddings

Note: Make sure your coconut milk is very well shaken. The cream and the water should be well emulsified when you open the can. If not, run it through a blender quickly. And I don’t usually separate the eggs in clafoutis, but chocolate&zucchini’s cherry chestnut flour clafoutis gave me the tip. It turned out fluffier than usual. If you are too lazy, just blend the eggs (both white and yolk) into the batter.

Serves 4-6

1 medium-sized mango, peeled and flesh cut into cubes

250g frozen raspberries (no need to be thawed)

1 Tbsp Muscovado or brown sugar

1/2 Tbsp corn starch

1/4 tsp ground ginger

Juice of 1/2 lime

Zest of 1 lime

2 eggs, separated

70g raw cane sugar

50g all-purpose flour

20g unsweetened, dessicated coconut

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

200ml coconut milk from a very well shaken can

10 shredded mint leaves, to serve.

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Generously grease a 22 cm pie dish or any deep, medium sized oven-proof dish.  with butter.

2. Add the mango cubes and 2/3 of the raspberries in the pie dish. Sprinkle the brown sugar, lime juice, corn starch and ground ginger over the fruits and toss to mix. Set aside for 10 mins.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, coconut milk, flour, vanilla, sugar, desiccated coconut and lime zest until a smooth batter is formed.

4. In clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peak forms. Gently fold into the batter in two batches.

5. Pour the final batter over the fruits. Scatter the remaining raspberries on top of the batter and gently push into the batter.

6. Bake for 25-30 mins until the top is puffed and golden. Leave to rest for about 20 mins. Serve warm with some shredded mint leaves on top.

DSC_1818

DSC_1817